That didn’t take long. Less than 24 hours after Joe Biden and his team celebrated a win at the Fifth Circuit, Judge Terry Doughty popped all the balloons. Will Biden take this chance for a new approach on energy? Naah, but that’s what makes this worth noting:
In the Thursday ruling, Judge Terry Doughty of the Western District of Louisiana, a Trump appointee, permanently blocked the January 2021 order in 13 states that sued over the order last March. The states in question are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia. It does not apply to any states uninvolved in the lawsuit.
In his ruling, Doughty ruled the order in violation of the Mineral Leasing Act (MLA) and Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), saying it took steps reserved for Congress.
“Both statutes require Government Defendants’ agencies to sell oil and gas leases. The OCSLA has a Five-Year Plan in effect that requires eligible leases to be sold. Government Defendants’ agencies have no authority to make significant revisions in the OCSLA Five-Year Plan without going through the procedure mandated by Congress,” Doughty wrote. Read more…